When they find themselves in severe pain, uninsured individuals tend to wind up in local emergency rooms. If their pain is caused by a broken bone or a ruptured appendix, they’ll receive the care they need immediately. On the other hand, if their pain is the result of rotting teeth and dental abscesses, they’ll receive little care. They may be given a pill for the pain or an antibiotic to fight the infection, but that’s it.
These individuals will then be sent home and forced to seek out their own dental care. Often, this means painstakingly saving money for months, taking loans they won’t be able to pay back, or waiting for an annual free clinic to come to town. As they postpone the care they cannot afford, these individuals are forced to live in agony for weeks, and even months, at a time. In addition, this wait can allow dental problems to worsen and can pose serious health risks.
Many people out there believe it is immoral to allow the poor to live in agony simply because they cannot afford dental procedures. Dental insurance should be provided for everyone who cannot realistically afford it on their own.
At The Dental Center, we’re committed to supporting increases in affordable dental insurance, but are still waiting for members of the government to step up to the plate. Instead, we’re taking action everyday to help uninsured individuals get the dental care they need. Through his work with the Dental OPTIONS program, Dr. Gilmer is actively improving the lives of the neediest members of his community.